24 Nov 2008

Little Things

I am, at this very moment, enjoying my first cup of coffee for about, oh… ten years or so. While I’ve had the odd cup over the years, I cannot say that I’ve enjoyed many of them. The possibility that wrenching pain will follow the very thing that you’re enjoying tends to take the shine off the experience. This cup on my desk is, however, milky and sweet and I am 95% certain it will not hurt me. This is everything I could ever want from a cup of coffee.

I’ve made a few small tweaks to the website – some for you, and some for me. I’ve added a few lines of code to display the number of comments per post on the main index page. That’s for me. The old theme displayed the five most recent comments in the sidebar; a feature I really liked, and was sad to lose. I have been looking for a way to add that two-way conversational feeling back to the main page and, thanks to WordPress, I found one this weekend that was fairly straightforward.

For you and for me, I’ve tidied up the place where my knitting patterns live. The formatting has annoyed me for some time, and I’m happy to have it finally sorted. I’ve also made room for another pattern to live on that page shortly. As I’ve mentioned in the podcast, I have been working on a new sock pattern. For a very long time. The pattern is chock full o’ charts, which is why it’s taking a long time to write. This weekend I added an image of this complex, yet very satisfying to knit sock. I am, as it happens, very satisfied with the finished sock, as the stretchy mesh makes it one of the best fitting and most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn.

I also fixed all the broken image links in the pattern pages – but wait, there’s more! – for you, I’ve added printable page links to Mrs Beeton, and Pembrokeshire Pathways. Clearly, bed rest is good for my website.

It’s also been very good for my knitting…

I finished the scarf that was my hospital and early recovery project. If there’s a bad time to knit Clapotis, I haven’t found it yet. The yarn is hand dyed by my friend, Meg, and I can’t remember if it’s superwash merino or sock yarn, but she nailed my favorite colors, spot on. It was a goodly sized skein, but not quite enough for Clapotis. I fudged with some different sock yarn for the last four inches or so. Yes, you can see it if you look. So I don’t.

The socks I stole the yarn from were next off the needles…

These are Elfin’s Socks, in an autumnal colorway. Lost the ball band on this one, and have no idea what the yarn is, but I luffs it. Calve shaping, which is not in the pattern, was accomplished by changing needle sizes, and I finished with a half inch picot turned hem. This is my new favorite happy ending for Toe-Up socks. ((Here’s how I work that Picot Bind Off:

Work to within a half inch of the top of the sock.

Round: 1: Purl, increasing or decreasing 1 if necessary, to obtain an even number of stitches.
Rounds 2 – 6: Knit
Round 7: *YO, K2Tog. Rep from * to end.
Rounds 8 – 11: Knit

Fold sock along picot edge, and work a VERY LOOSE three needle bind off, by picking up the purl bumps just above the inside of Row 1, and binding them off together with the live stitches.))

And then came this little not-quite-scarf. Now, I know some people do adore garter stitch, but I am not among their number. Oh, it’s fine in its place. I’m not against a few rows, worked as an edging, say, but great swathes of the stuff leave me cold.

Imagine my surprise then, when I found myself attracted to this, and actually falling in love with its counterpart, here. I mean, honestly, imagine my shock. It’s like one of those 1940’s screwball comedies, where the girl hates the guy and they trade wisecracks, until she discovers his redeeming qualities and removes her glasses and he, with a sense of growing wonder says, “Why Miss Garter, you’re beautiful,” and they live happily ever after.

Knit from a discontinued Jaeger DK Merino that I picked up in Italy last year, the scarf-lette worked up extremely quickly, considering I didn’t have the pattern. Don’t get me wrong, I’d have been delighted to pay for it. It’s just not available for download anywhere that I could find, and I couldn’t see waiting weeks and weeks for a printed pattern to arrive from the US. So I looked at the picture and knocked one off. I don’t know if my way is the same as the designer’s way, but the result pleases me nonetheless. Yup. Garter stitch. Who knew it looked so good without its glasses.

Posted on November 24, in Blog


  1. Elizabeth L in Apex, NC wrote:

    I’m so glad to find you! I followed the link on knotmuchofaknitter.wordpress to your virtual door, and I have very much enjoyed listening to your last two podcasts. I am looking forward to browsing your site once I finish painting my living room (sigh.), so for now I’ll just be ecstatic to listen to some more shows! Happy Blogiversary, a bit late. Regards, Elizabeth

    Posted on 11.24.08 ·
  2. Joan wrote:

    Brenda, your discussion de la Clapotis (I assume it’s a “La”) has inspired me to try it for myself. I have drawn back from it – terrified that I would totally mess it up somehow. Aran sweaters? Sure? lace knitting? Why not? But CLA- PO – TIS???? horrors!
    And then your podcast about the Clapotis that became a Clapo-tiny really had me worried. I hope this one is a superwash yarn – that’s what I bought and I’m hoping to start mine tonight. Finishing may be another story, but that, in the words of Al Franken’s fictional alter ego Stuart Smalley – is Oh. Kay.
    So glad you’re feeling better and able to sip a cup o’ Joe:) I cannot imagine my life without the joys of coffee – the kind with extra caffeine!
    Stay well and be happy!

    Posted on 11.25.08 ·
  3. Zabet wrote:

    I shall probably never knit a Clapotis, but if I were going to knit one, I’d like one in that colorway you used. Maybe with a little more green rather than purple. (You know how I feel about purple – it’s like wearing a sign around your neck that says, “Hello! Share my crazy, please?”)


    Posted on 11.26.08 ·
  4. Jenna wrote:

    Happy belated Thanksgiving!
    So glad to hear you are back home and back on our feet!
    The site looks lovely, thanks for all your hard work. I especially like the photos in the Reach Knitters block! Very nice!

    If you are still looking for something to watch please check out
    One of my favorite places, but I am a fan!

    Be well! Stay well!

    Posted on 11.28.08 ·
  5. Manisha wrote:

    Dear Brenda,

    I do like garterstitch 🙂 and made a baby halsfisk (danish) or “neck-fish” for a present.
    Now my daughter wish for a
    and perhaps I will .-)

    Many greetings

    Posted on 11.29.08 ·
  6. Alice wrote:

    Oh my god, I can’t believe how cool your new website looks like! It worths all the waiting time!
    Sorry for leaving a comment here that deals nothing with the entry, but you don’t have a space to comment on ‘how beautiful the new website is’…

    Posted on 12.2.08 ·
  7. Tim D wrote:

    Brenda.. I am Jonesing for a POD CAST wahhhhh….
    Tim D from the wilds of Albany NY

    Posted on 12.4.08 ·
  8. Nora wrote:

    I had The Best Surprise last night. I turned on my iPod to listen to the next installment of Pride and Prejudice on Craftlit, and like magic, there was a brand new Cast-On to listen to! I LOVE it when that happens! You sounded so refreshed, and I love the remodeled web site!

    I, too, have been persuaded – largely by you – to join the lemmings marching to the sea, and knit a Clapotis. I might just wind some yarn for it today. Never mind everything else I’m supposed to be knitting.

    Glad you’re feeling better.

    Posted on 12.7.08 ·
  9. Angela wrote:

    Hi Brenda! I’m glad you’re feeling better. I went through the gallstones dreadies when my first son Jude was a month old. I spent his one-month birthday in the surgical suite. Strange enough, I did that with my second (note: LAST) son, Elias, when he was a month old too. But that was a kidney-gonna-die issue. the gallbladder was worse. Anyway, I hope you ring in the new-year with a killer cup o’ joe, something sweet and something greasy. Gotta love all those foods you couldn’t eat before!

    Posted on 12.31.08 ·

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